University Study Suggests a Radical Change to Hunting and Fishing

From the story on WCCO in Minneapolis:

_Minnesota's fishing opener is on Saturday but a new study is putting fishing and hunting quotas in question. An ecologist at the University of Minnesota wants wildlife managers to re-think the way we hunt and fish. He believes we need to trade quotas for time limits. But fisherman Bob Nelson is putting his boat into White Bear Lake for the season. Come this weekend, he'll be fishing from it.

__"We do not always have the days we want to go and fish," said Nelson. That's why he's not jumping on board with any talk of a time limit. Ecologist Craig Packer looked at 20 years of research tracking deer and moose numbers from Canada and Norway. "The bottom line is the current system is prone to over-consumption," said Packer. His team found quotas don't consider population fluctuations from disease or bad weather, and the extra pressure from hunters or fishermen could be a serious problem. "If you're not limiting the effort then your guys are going to be out there longer, harder, trying to get their quotas. So they're going to be pushing down even harder on the population," said Packer.

Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources already does a lot of work setting quota numbers. It takes a look at fish and game numbers every year and regulates on the vulnerability of species. But Packer points out those quota numbers take a long time to change. "If you're relying on what happened last year and the year before to try to estimate how many you can shoot this year, just based on how many you were shooting, chances are if the population is going down that you're going to have an overharvest," said Packer. At this point there is no plan on how many days hunters would get or just how it would all exactly work, it's simply a recommendation researchers say would guarantee a continued supply and prevent extinction._

Given a choice, what would you prefer?